I'd say get a bamboo fun and touch, same specs as the intuos 4 but cheaper. The nibs for my intuos wear down fast, its been only a week and one nibs been worn down to half its size. that's just how it is tho. Idk i'd get a cheaper tablet starting off then after im well used to is splashing out. S'what i did tho :L You can get wacom bamboos for like 80 euro with same pen pressure as the intuos (thats all that really matters for a tablet), and intuos it 250+
Nothing's going to be as real as drawing on paper, but I've got an Intuos4 Large, and I liked having the real estate. I can use my arm more when I have a larger space like that. Personally, I don't like having to keep realigning the tablet with the screen if I have a big drawing. I pretty much decided that I would leave it on the desk, and I'm getting a tablet to take with me when I am away from my main computer. To me, I'd rather have less to carry. If you go the Intuos route for drawing on the go, then it means grabbing the laptop, the tablet, an external mouse because I hate the touchpad --but then I have to worry about the usb dongle for the mouse. More cords, more things to shove in a bag and suddenly you're carrying around a setup identical to your desktop. If I'm going to spend the money on something I can use anywhere then I really wouldn't favor the Cintiq or the Intuos.
But it sounds to me like you're comfortable with it, so I'd just stick with what you're already used to.
Well, you also could buy the Intuos5 without the touch. Or only deactivate it. I did the same because the function is complete crap. Nobody needs such a feature.
Don't know... I just wasn't happy with it. Too big. Too heavy. Not the same monitor as the pc-screen. Etc. Several small problems I had with it, but I think that's only my personal opinion. At my workplace most people also prefer the Intuos-Series. I think you should try them before buying. Sometimes it also bothered me that the cintiq has a little glasplate on it, so you have sometimes a little displacment because of the optical view.
I think this is largely going to depend on how you do your best work. I like the Cintiq personally because I grew up in a pen and paper environment. My eyes are accustomed to the paper beneath me as well as my hands. The Cintiq display is the closest thing to drawing on paper for someone like me. But if you've started as an artist using a tablet --you're already used to drawing with your hand while looking at the screen. With an Intuos4 or 5, you'll be able to get larger drawing real estate. For the cost of a 12wx you can get the Intuos4 Extra large which has 21.5 inch surface to work with. Since they're both made by the same company, there isn't really going to be a concern about the difference in quality. It's going to boil down to what works best for you and what you are willing to part with. But if you're going to go for longevity, I would get the intuos4 extra large, and start socking money away for the 22HD or 24HD Cintiq.